(if you don’t have graham crackers to eat it on)
I don’t know about you, but I always find that somehow I can never make the exact right quantity of frosting for any dessert project. Either it’s not quite enough so I have to make another whole or half batch just for that last three tablespoons I need to cover the top of the cake, or it’s just waaaaaay to much to begin with. Either way, I can never bring myself to throw it out. Of course, if you have graham crackers to spread it on, you don’t even need to read this, but if (like me this week) graham crackers are nowhere in the house, I’m here to help you.
Two words: Hand. Pies.
I cannot even describe the convenience of pie crust in solving the leftovers problem (sweet or savory). Extra points if you already have some tucked away in your freezer from the last time you made a Quiche. Just pull that out of the freezer and stick it in the fridge to defrost in the morning so it’s ready to go whenever you have a chance to do a tiny bit of pastry making during the day. I don’t have any specific pie crust recipe to suggest, but find one with no eggs and plenty of vinegar in it for the most tenderness and flakiness.
For my part, I didn’t alter the frosting much, although you really could go wild if you wanted to. For about 3/4 to 1 cup of frosting and 1/2 batch of pie crust I used:
1 large Bosc Pear (very well-ripened as it was the last in the fruit bowl) peeled and diced
1/2 tsp each of ground Cloves, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg (my favorite ingredients)
1 small palm of black raisins
For the pie crust: Divide into 8 equal parts and then leave in the fridge, bringing out the sections one at a time as you work with them. keeping your surfaces floured, roll out your section, spread a thin layer of butter and fold in half, spread with butter again and fold in thirds (like the last fold of a towel) to make a tiny cube. Roll it out again as thin as you can without damaging it. Fill the center with a heaping spoonful of your frosting/filling, fold in half and fold the edges in a twist pattern like you would a regular pie. Place on floured baking pan. Grab your next piece of crust out of the fridge and repeat.
To finish them all off, brush a little egg over the tops and if you’re feeling extra fancy you can sprinkle a little raw sugar granules on as well (I didn’t do this, but I think it would be lovely). I baked mine at 425^ for 20 minutes, but I’ve found that depending on the day and the humidity of the filling it’ll need more or less time. Set your timer for 10 or 12 minutes and go from there is my go-to method for hand pies.
Sadly we ate all of ours before I remembered to take a picture, but they were absolutely delicious and I could see them going excellently with a serving of vanilla bean ice cream or a little whipped cream-cheese desert topping a-la-pear desert (get that recipe from Faerynn). And, of course, it’s best served with a mug of your favourite tea.
Like I mentioned before, this is also an excellent solution for savory leftovers (maybe you didn’t get all the way through the filling on taco night?), and I hope it comes in as useful and delicious for you as it has for me!
Happy pastry-making! Elaina Joy